THE FEAR OF SELF-PROMOTION FOR THE CONSTANTLY NERVOUS

One of the downsides to having to promote my songs or blogs is the need to do exactly that – promote.

I’m not a promote type person. My moniker is not Promotion Paul. At school my fellow pupils would never have voted me as Pupil Most Likely to Promote.

SOCIAL MEDIA SUPERMAN? OR JUST A SHY BOY IN A CAPE?

However, since I somewhat accidentally started song-writing again I have needed to stand up and shout; just a little, to get my songs heard. And believe me, there are a lot of artists out there doing a lot of shouting, on a multitude of platforms, be it streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Soundcloud, or video channels like YouTube and Tik Tok. So much shouting and of course, so much singing. And so many, many songs.

DRESSING UP FOR A PARTY OF ONE

I spend a great deal of time developing a song, making it as strong as I can, and spend hours and expense in a studio getting it as close as possible to how I’ve heard it in my head. I’ll spend considerable time on a video, an essential element for any new song to attract people to it. I’ll put the video on You Tube, and the song released on all major streaming platforms.

Yet when I announce the song on my song-writing Facebook page I’m tentative, almost apologetic. I limit the number of posts about a new song, worried in case the people who have liked or followed my Facebook page get sick of hearing about it. There is actually some sense to that, even though I’m trying to reach new audiences.

But it’s also counter intuitive; if people have signed up for my Facebook page it’s because they are happy to hear about my songs, right? Nope, not in my head. In my head they are simply being polite – even though most people who now follow me don’t actually know me and therefore have made the decision to follow me for the simple reason they like my music. But try telling that to my mixed-up sense of logic.

Doubt concept.

THE WHISPERING BLOGGER

Similarly with blogging there is also the need to get your blog read among all the others saying ‘read me, read me!’ – though usually a lot more politely than that. Blogs don’t tend to shout; they suggest, which suits me better.

But still there is a need to let people know you have published a new blog and for the likes of myself there is the constant voice in my head asking; are people going to be interested in what I have to say? Indeed, what do I have to say? And who do I think I am, thinking people would spend several minutes throughout the noise of a day reading my words, considering my opinion, reading about my life?

But if I’m sure about one thing, it’s that I’m not the only one who has misgivings every time they publish a blog, post a song into the world or give out a part of themselves out for praise, criticism or indifference.

THE POWER OF THE ALTER EGO

It’s almost a prerequisite of anybody who writes to be somewhat introverted, living life from the outside looking in. And so stepping into the limelight and actually saying ‘hey, look what I’ve done, look what I have to say’ is sometimes a strain. A big strain. And if this is met by disinterest then it is even more keenly felt, it just underlines the voice of doubt.

In Susan Cains book Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, she refers to a college lecturer who lives an out-going, constantly conversational life but who is, by nature, introverted. His gregarious persona is actually that – a persona. He finds his required way of engaging with the world exhausting, yet to do his job successfully he knows he needs to engage, not withdraw. In fact, he does it so well most people who knew his true nature would, he says, be shocked.

Maybe there is something to be said for developing an online identity that’s more about confidence with just a hint of brashness. There is certainly enough advice out there about how to target song audiences and get more streams and You Tube views, should anyone choose to get strategic about it.

But for me, authenticity and a nice dose of doubt feel more comfortable. Certainly, in the blogging community my experience so far is of a lot of people just helping each other out and there is a virtue in developing a following organically and in smaller degrees. This can work for music as well as blogs.

It would appear then that I have talked myself into continued reservation and tortured hesitancy. Maybe I’m just addicted to it.

Or maybe I should write a blog about it, and wonder whether or not to tell anyone…

12 thoughts on “THE FEAR OF SELF-PROMOTION FOR THE CONSTANTLY NERVOUS

  1. Oh man, can I relate to this feeling! I know that some people don’t struggle with this affliction, and I’m a bit envious. Of course, there’s the “what if they don’t like it?” feeling that so many of us dwell on. Even when we know something is pretty good, it feels a bit egotistical to promote ourselves. At the same time, I suppose it’s a bit of a necessary task if growing an audience is important to the musician, painter, or writer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad for confirmation that I’m not the only one Pete! Americans are perceived as generally being out-going, confident people which can’t make it any easier for you. That said English people are seen as quite reserved which should make it easier for me but it doesn’t! Never mind, a little humility can go a long way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m with you and Pete on this. My first posts were about my struggles with depression, and I worked and reworked them to the nth degree, fearful of the reaction I would get by revealing parts of me. But I’ve found the blogging world to be an incredibly supportive place, and it has become important for me. Keep doing what you’re doing – you write well and your songs are great!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you very much Clive, and I’m glad to hear that blogging has been instrumental in your hopefully on-going recovery from depression. You were brave in putting yourself out there and I’m pleased that the response has been positive and helpful.

    And your comments on my songs have shown that you are willing to give back too, many thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I recently wrote and published a blog post asking if I was over or underwhelming my readers, but it seems the answers I got were that I published the right amount of posts. When it comes to promoting my books, I’ve only recently created some reusable blocks to insert into some blog posts, but I don’t include them on all my posts. My flash fiction posts are where you’ll see them, and I’m pleased to say that I have had some book sales since including them in posts.

    Mostly, people follow somebodies blog or social media account because they’re interested in hearing what they have to say. Unfortunately, you’ll always get those that follow for a follow and who never come back. But forget about them and do what feels best for you, Paul. You’ll soon find the perfect promotional balance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I am finding that balance now Hugh, I only publish once a month usually which suits me as I am getting back more intensely into my script-writing and songs and a once-a-month blog fits into that better. I don’t worry about follows so much. My follows are slowly building, but I only really take them seriously if they comment and follow.

      Your blogs are always pleasing, bright and informative and they never feel like they are being pushed at people. I can’t pretend I always get to read every one but each time I do I enjoy them and they are always nice to dip into. it’s something for myself to aim for.

      Thanks for your comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Paul, thank you for sharing this post with me – I think in terms of self-promotion when you are invited to share have no shame in doing so!

    With that in mind your Facebook issue, personally whenever anyone follows you, I take that to mean consent they are interested in my work and therefore I’m able to self-promote.

    I did have a personal Twitter account which I stopped using because my self-promotion was losing followers who weren’t interested in that type of stuff, so I decided to start again based off ideas around my blog.

    It’s interesting to note that the best self-promoters aren’t always the ones producing the best content. In a way that has inspired me because I see people engaging with subpar content and figure if people aren’t telling them to go away then I have nothing to fear either!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right of course, particularly when it comes to Facebook were a photo, or even several photo’s of a meal someone is having can get multiple positive responses. If they can publish something they are about to eat I should have no qualms about posting something I have created such as a blog!

      Twitter is another odd one, I have considered a separate account for my creative work. I think this is a platform were people are looking for something that hits them quickly and are less likely to engage with something personal to yourself.

      In the end I find it’s very hard to tell what people are going to respond to, so should probably spend less time trying to second-guess and just post away!

      Thanks for reading and thanks for the follow.

      Paul

      Like

      1. Twitter is interesting I’m still trying to figure it out, though I think you are correct about people looking for the quick hits, and aren’t as receptive to links taking elsewhere.

        So I’m trying to bring the blog to them put blog highlights in single tweets and rewriting them as a thread.

        I think the lesson for both of us is to think less what others are thinking and taking action.

        Look forward to reading more of your work.
        James

        Liked by 1 person

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